The Big Question: What Is Your Greatest Concern for Your Industry in 2016?

Renewable Energy World

There doesn’t seem to be a lot to worry about…the wind industry set a new installation record in 2014, breaking 50 GW in a single year for the first time. We’ll set a new record in 2015, with the main question being whether or not we’ll hit 60 GW in 2015 as some are suggesting. Personally I think it will be a bit less than that, in the range of 55-57 GW.

 With continued strong policy support in China and the new extension/phase-out of the PTC in the U.S., our two largest markets seem in good shape. Europe is steady, if far too dependent on Germany…the new government in Canada is an improvement, as is the new leadership in Australia. Japan, Spain, the UK and S. Korea are still weak spots in the OECD, but OK; and new markets are springing up across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

 Not all is roses of course. Political instability and economic uncertainty in Brazil and South Africa, two of our major rising stars, threaten to put a damper on further growth. Cratering fossil fuel prices are also going to change economic equation in some places, and put a dent in some countries’ budgets, although of course the converse is true for many more.

I suppose the worst that could happen in 2016 would be for the U.S. to elect a Republican president who lives up to their campaign promise, returning control of the government to the fossil fuel industry which drove U.S. climate and energy policy for most of the 2000s. However, we’re not the only ones concerned with that outcome!

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